Elements of Design ~ Concepts
~ Renee Goularte



A point is like a very tiny dot. It has no height or width. For artistic purposes, think of it as the mark which might be left if you touch something with the tip of your finger, or point at a piece of paper with a pencil. 'Pointillist' art is produced by painting or
drawing with dots.


A line is made of a series of points placed adjacent to each other. Lines can be curved or straight. There are different kinds of straight lines: a vertical line goes straight up and down; a horizontal line lies down flat, like the horizon line; and a
Diagonal line is slanted.


Shapes are made by using lines. Straight-sided figures are made with straight lines (ie., square, triangle); curved figures are made with curved lines (ie., circle, curvilinear triangle). Straight and curved lines used in combination have unlimited possibilities.


Red, yellow and blue are primary colors. All other colors can be mixed from these. Green, orange and violet are secondary colors. They can be obtained by mixing equal parts of two primary colors. Colors across from each other on the color wheel are complimentary. Mixing these will create a neutral color.

Note: White light is a combination of all colors; black is the absence of color. We see color when an object reflects light waves of that color, and absorbs the other light waves. The shortest light wave we can see is violet, the longest is deep red; a rainbow is always red on the outside ­ the longest side. To see a rainbow, your back needs to be to the sun.


Tactile texture refers to the way something feels to the touch. Visual texture refers to the sensation which is visually perceived by the audience.


Patterns are created through the repetition of shapes, colors, or other qualities.

Positive and Negative Space

Space can be thought of as the 'empty' areas of a composition. The objects pictured are 'positive' shapes; the area left over creates 'negative' space

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